Ka'au Crater

HARD 344 reviews
#2 of 10 trails in

Ka'au Crater is a 5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Honolulu, Hawaii that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November.

5.0 miles
2385 feet



nature trips

rock climbing

trail running






wild flowers




old growth

over grown



no dogs

This hike is challenging and can be slippery and dangerous. If you don't know how to navigate in the outdoors you should consider another trail that is well-marked OR hike the trail in a counter-clockwise route as far as the waterfall and return the way you came. This is an amazing hike with three waterfalls and gorgeous views of Honolulu, Kaneohe, Kailua, Diamond Head, and Ka'au Crater. This hike is not too challenging until the 3rd waterfall which you climb up to get to the ridge portion of the hike. This is where it got extremely muddy and a bit dangerous. The view from the top of the ridge is incredible! Pack more food and water than you think you'd need, it's very steep and tiring. The trailhead is cleverly hidden behind the mailboxes on left of the road at the end of Waiomao Road which is a right turn off of 10th Street. Get out of your little car and you will see the hand lettered sign on the tree behind the mailboxes. The trail starts DOWN into the streambed / rain forest.

49 minutes ago

We had a damn good shot at this one for a couple in their 50's. A bit sore today. Don't go doing this one if you have an old knee injury like me! other than that it was amazing, beautiful, breath taking and really worth experiencing.

11 hours ago

2 days ago

3 days ago

4 days ago

5 days ago

So me and my boyfriend completed the full circle. We are literally DEAD now haha! It was a huge challenge but I'm so glad we did it. We didn't have proper hiking boots - just trainers and we was slipping all over the place on the way back down! Also when coming down we turned right instead of left and had to add another 40mins on our journey, make sure you go down the right way as it isn't clearly signed. Go LEFT!
It was also raining while we was hiking which made it so much harder coming down, we fell over adleast 10 times each but it was part of the experience. We are laughing now but this trail is TOUGH! Enjoy guys!

9 days ago

First, the trailhead is cleverly hidden behind the mailboxes on left of the road at the end of Waiomao Road which is a right turn off of 10th Street. Get out of your little car and you will see the hand lettered sign on the tree behind the mailboxes. The trail starts DOWN into the streambed / rain forest.
The hike itself is Epic, meaning there are a variety of micro climates, many great views, lots of hard work with sweat, and likely blood and even tears.
Highly recommended. Doesn't take all day but don't plan much else because you will need a shower, rehydration and rest!

16 days ago

treacherous but super fun. 3 waterfalls is worth the difficulty!

19 days ago

Does anyone have a photo of the entrance to Ka’au crater trail? I could never find the beginning. My gps tells me I’m there but it’s just someone’s house.

19 days ago

This is hike will kick you a$$... and when reading the reviews can be misleading. We do alot of hiking in the southwest (AZ, UT and NM), one thing to think about if you are not from the island - is the humidity. Being from AZ, I was not prepared (silly me) for the humidity. Was not expecting to have such a hard time with this hike, take lots of water and be sure to give yourself time. The views and scenario are amazing, not a hike you want to rush through.

21 days ago

By far one of my favorite hikes ever.. I've bee on this hike a numerous of times, but yesterday was the 1st time I looped it.. I've always came back down the same way I came up.. amazing views and some intensity going down the ridge.. definitely an advance hike..

22 days ago

We heard about this hike from a guy on the plane. If you don't normally hike, don't do this hike. The steepness and narrowness was no fun. We turned around after the first mile or so, although beautiful, it was too slippery and difficult. Again if you don't normally hike I would advise not to do this.

24 days ago

26 days ago

Great hike!! A buddy and I went at around 7:30a, we only hiked to the top of the third waterfall due to time constraints. It took us about 3.5 hours, 4 miles. We were lucky to have good weather, no rain or insane heat.

This is definitely not a child or dog (of any size) friendly hike. It is very rocky and muddy (hence slippery). The only thing I didn't enjoy about the was how slippery it was (we slipped and fell a few times, no major injuries, just got extra muddy), but other than that, I absolutely loved it.

If you're looking for a brisk walk, this is not your hike. If you enjoy obstacles like myself, you'll love this because there are LOTS of them!

28 days ago

This was long and tough! Worth all the hard work in the end!

29 days ago

Did this hike yesterday. Didn't know there was a loop so I went around the crater and back down the waterfalls. Took me 4 hours and 12 minutes. Started raining as I went up the waterfall, but ended up just being cloudy as I went around the crater. If it wasn't so cloudy the hike would of been much more brutal, basically the entire crater section of the hike is exposed. I went alone only because I know this hike usually has a lot of people on it, but if you're inexperienced I would suggest bringing a friend for moral support lol. Great hike love how you get waterfalls and ridges in one hike

1 month ago

this trail is insaaaane. definitely do it with a group. we went up to the crater and saw light rain clouds roll over into the crater. we decided to do the loop anyway which was a big mistake. if you see even a slight change of rain, turn back. the trail becomes super muddy and extremely challenging. ropes are not available at all sections. the rain slowed is down so much we ended up finishing the hike in the dark which is not fun at all. so start early. other than rain, this was a breathtaking hike

1 month ago

1 month ago